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Recyclers told to use local waste as government quietly slaps ban on import of electronic, PET scrap


  • India, China and Bangladesh are among the top recyclers of the world’s waste and the environment ministry had all these years generously permitted import of PET bottles by licensed recycling units in India.
  • The ministry of environment, forests & climate change, issued order, banned import of all used plastic or PET bottles scrap by recycling plants in India and asked these units to, from now on, rely on similar waste generated within the country.
  • The ministry has also taken a policy decision to ban import of all kinds of household waste, non-exportable electrical equipment and computers & accessories that don’t have a clearly preset residual life.
  • The move is part of a two-pronged drive to push for better waste management in India while at the same time prevent the country from turning into a dumpyard for global waste.
  • State pollution control boards will be the direct interface for imports of all permitted items while the central government will continue to monitor and decide on permissions.
  • India has some 3,500 recognised recycling units for plastic waste, according to a 2014 report by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry.
  • Sumit Kumar, director of HK Industries, a plastic recycling unit based in Delhi, said the industry relies on imports because it is unable to get the desired quantity of PET scrap in India at a good price.
  • Ravi Agarwal, director of Toxics Link, a Delhi-based environmental NGO, said while the thrust on first collecting the waste in the country is a positive step, there is also need for simultaneous engagement with the recycling industry.

Source: ET

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